• Scott Gingold

Why Realtors should be worried

Why cybercriminals are increasingly targeting your real estate clients?

In the last two years, cyberattacks in the real estate sector has risen 136% and has incurred over $12 billion in losses due to wire transfers. As this article illustrates, with attacks in this sector on the rise, it’s time for Realtors to take cybersecurity much more seriously than ever before.

We examined three common reasons why the industry is being so heavily targeted – and can offer you solutions to make sure that you and your customers are safe.

1) Frequent money transfers. One of the largest reasons why cybercriminals are heavily targeting the real estate industry is that it is lucrative. Real estate agents deal with large money transfers daily. Attackers have learned that through business email compromise (BEC) and account takeover attacks (ATO) they have been able to impersonate the agent or whoever is requesting the large transfer. By doing this, they can often wire the money to a different account before the mistake or impersonation is discovered.

We can offer email security solutions that leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. For example, we use AI to learn a user’s unique communication patterns. If an account has been compromised, the solution detects the anomalous behavior and alerts us.

2) Lax security standards. Agents and real estate firms deal with very sensitive private information – bank accounts, financial history, tax documents, and more. What is concerning, is the lack of security associated with protecting this vital information. Most agents use their personal email accounts for work. That means many most likely have no email security solutions in place, use weak security passwords, and many times use their own marketing automation systems.

All of these components create a tempting and potentially very fruitful opportunity for a cybercriminal. The lack of email security makes it easy for hackers to break into agents’ accounts and impersonate them. We work with real estate firms to establish a robust email security solution to protect them from a variety of attacks. Today’s latent threats like phishing attacks, zero-day attacks, Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, and more can be effectively challenged.

3) Frequent communication. When it comes to the real estate industry, there are multiple parties involved – buyers, sellers, contractors, lenders, agents, and lawyers. Due to the complexity of the process and the number of people involved, it is easy for cybercriminals to find and exploit the weakest link.The best way to prevent human error is with education and we can help with both systems and training.

As the real estate industry continues to be targeted, customers in this arena will soon be even more at risk. We’re help secure your business-critical data and avoid account takeover attacks.

To discover more reasons why cybercriminals are targeting the real estate industry, or to learn how to further protect these customers contact us before tragedy strikes.


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